Friday, August 1, 2008

The Unit: Seek and Destroy-Patrick Andrews

The Unit: Seek and Destroy
Patrick Andrews
Signet, Sep 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 0451225392

At Fort Griffith, Missouri, Commanding officer Tom Ryan orders the “Unit” to report to the Cave immediately. The five operatives (Sergeant Major Blane, Master Sergeant Gerhardt, Staff Sergeant Brown, and Sergeants Grey and Matoskah) arrive immediately because they understand whatever the assignment is they will deploy immediately.

Ryan introduces his team to CIA Controller Munger, who the guys know as a desk jockey interfering with missions, State department Booker Cartwright who acts like Munger’s lackey, and Congolese National Army Captain Edward Tshobutu. The mission is to work with Tshobutu to prevent a mercenary group headquartered in Italy from taking over the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mission is difficult enough, but Munger demands they also attempt to win the hearts and minds of those locals who joined the European mercenary force.

The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action as the Unit due to the competence of Tshobutu and his strategic planning and his squad’s execution battle the enemy. Readers will enjoy the split between those back in DC ready to whine to Congress and those in the field risking their lives to achieve the mission. The lack of a CIA operative in country or even a State Department suit appears unreal and the mercenaries lacking a strategic on site leader to run their operation seems counter intuitive to how well they set it up. Still although everything goes too smooth, fans will enjoy Patrick Andrews’ fine military operations battle in the Democratic Republic of Congo but especially between the soldiers in the field and the suits back home.

Harriet Klausner